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Devils skate in first practice of 2007-08

by Staff Writer / New Jersey Devils – The Devils were set to hit the ice Friday morning at 9 a.m. for their first practice under Head Coach Brent Sutter, with veterans and prospects all vying for spots on the 2007-08 roster. 

The off-season brought with it the additions of some new faces that will be looking to contribute to the Devils' inaugural campaign at Prudential Center as the team prepares to compete for its first Stanley Cup Championship since 2003.

Here's a closer look at the new Devils expected to lace up their skates today at Codey Arena in West Orange:

Arron Asham, F #22
Signed by the Devils as a free agent on Aug. 7, Asham collected 11 goals, 12 assists and 23 points last season, appearing in a career-high 80 games.

Montréal's third choice, 71st overall, in the 1996 Entry Draft, Asham first hit the NHL scene with seven appearances with the Canadiens' during the 1998-99 season. The 5-11, 218-lb. winger spent the last four seasons with the New York Islanders.

Karel Rachunek, D #28

The free agent blueliner signed with the Devils on July 3, after a 2006-07 campaign that saw him record six goals and 20 assists for 26 points in 66 games.

Taken with Ottawa's eighth pick, 229th overall, in the 1997 Entry Draft, the 6-2, 220-lb. blueliner returned to North America last season for the first time since '03-04, playing in his 300th career NHL game (Jan. 13), and notching his 100th career assist (Dec. 30).

Vitaly Vishnevski, D #2
Signed by the Devils as a free agent on July 10, Vishnevski tallied three goals and 10 assists for 13 points over 67 games split last season between Atlanta and Nashville.

Selected by Anaheim fifth overall in the 1998 Entry Draft, the 6-2, 215-lb. rearguard appeared in 52 straight games to start the 2006-07 season.

Kevin Weekes, G #40

Signed by the Devils to a free agent contract on July 5, Weekes saw action in 14 matches over a 41-game stretch in 2006-07.

The Toronto native was drafted with Florida's second choice, 41st overall, in the 1993 Entry Draft, and notched a career-high 23 wins in '03-04 as a member of the Carolina Hurricanes.

Dainius Zubrus, F #16
Zubrus registered career highs last season with 24 goals, 36 assists and 60 points, while appearing in 60 games with Washington and 19 games with Buffalo.

Signed by the Devils on July 3, the 6-5, 225-lb. forward collected eight postseason assists with the Sabres for his highest playoff point total since 1997. The native of Elektrenai, Lithuania, was drafted with Phildelphia's first pick, 15th overall, in the 1996 Entry Draft.

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